By Captain W. E. Johns



XVI.                        THE GREEN IDOL  (Pages 161 - 170)


Our heroes find wood and cardboard boxes stencilled "Charneys, London.  Confectionary."  They make their way up to the top floor, which is more like a luxury hotel than a warehouse and they find a laboratory.  Here they see Charneys chewing-gum and chocolate together with a small glass jar half filled with an oily, colourless liquid and a hypodermic syringe.  "This is it.  We're in the dope shop.  Larapindi didn't lose any time preparing samples for the new man to distribute at Dum Dum.  This little collection tells the whole story" says Biggles.  They can hear Larapindi talking in the next room.  Biggles gets out his automatic and opens the door.  He was expecting three persons in the room.  Larapindi, the steward who was to replace Lal Din and perhaps the servant who had fetched him.  Instead he finds seven or eight people sat around a table, the centre of which is occupied by a green stone idol.  "The heads of his disciples, or assistants, or agents, or whatever they were, were bowed in the direction of the idol in reverent adoration".  In front of each person are packets of chewing-gum and chocolate.  Biggles holds up his gun and tells them not to move but they all immediately get up in a rush and Larapindi turns out the light.  Biggles fires.  "It was a situation for which he was not prepared, and one that seemed to defy immediate remedy.  He had no desire to perpetrate a massacre."  Biggles leaves the room and locks everyone in.  Other members of Biggles squadron come into the building and Air Commodore Raymond also arrives.  Opening the room, Biggles gets everyone out, but Larapindi is not amongst them.  He has escaped somehow.